One of the things we look at in evaluating the local real estate market is how long it takes to sell a home.  New statistics just released indicate the median time to contract increased 20.6% in August 2019 versus 2018.

Median Time to Contract Increased in August

Median Time to Contract Increased

If you look at the chart, we see a 15.9% year over year increase in the time it takes to sell a home.  This tells us it’s not a one-month blip on the chart.  It’s taking longer to sell a home in 2019 than it did in 2018.

There is good news though. New pending sales were up 2.9% in August versus last year, and inventory is actually down 3.9% The numbers tell a story that at least in August, it’s kind of a mixed market.  We’ll keep our eyes open for trends that will swing the market one way or another.

The local real estate market is sort of like the economy.  There are positive signs like employment numbers, interest rates, etc.  There are also signs of consumer confidence perhaps swinging while people wonder what the outcome of the China trade agreement will bring.

What all this process is that the Internet does not sell homes.  Experienced agents that price homes properly and aggressively market homes sell homes.  It’s not enough to throw it up on MLS and hope another Realtor sees it, or a buyer sees it online and falls in love with it.

Marketing Still King

There is competition for the buyers, and buyers are still swayed by marketing.  As an example, we get a certain number of leads through a paid advertising program we use.  It costs a lot of money, and it’s very successful.  When we launch additional targeted online advertising promoting our listings or our open houses, we get dozens more leads looking to buy now.  Had we not done that extra advertising, we would not have gotten those buyers.

We can track which ad each buyer came from and which property they clicked on.  We know exactly which ads work.  This knowledge helps us repeat the process.  Each time we list a new property we can design ads that bring in buyers for that property.

Chances are we might already have a buyer.  Yesterday I was at a listing appointment and we searched for leads looking in their subdivision.  We had 572 leads looking in their subdivision, complete with name, phone number, and email address.  Once this property goes on the market, our team of agents have built-in leads they can call announcing the new listing and giving these 572 people first crack at seeing the home.  That’s the power of marketing.

Agents that sit back and wait for other agents to show their home don’t have a database of buyers like the Ellis Team does.  At last check we had 8,373 in one system alone.  The advertising platforms cost money, so not every agent can afford to market like this.  When you’re interviewing agents, you’ll want to ask to see their online leads and how many they have for a home like yours.  Is the data good, or is it just email addresses?  Good data to us is when we have their contact information and we know the buyer’s What and When.

If we have the buyer’s What we can help find them what they’re looking for, and on their timeline.  If a buyer is 5 years out, that’s not going to help any of our current sellers today.  Building up a consistent pipeline is key to getting seller’s homes sold quickly.

If you have a home to sell, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239—489-4042 Ext 4 or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com We can sit down with you and show you how we’re different.

In the meantime, we’ll keep an eye out on the market for you.  Good luck and Happy Selling!

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